Jeff Bezos, one of the world’s wealthiest people, will give his money to charity. His partner, Lauren Sanchez, supports and affirms the decision.
According to the Amazon founder, he will give away the bulk of his $124 billion annual net worth into meaningful things. He said he would use his wealth to fight climate change and support people who help the community politically and socially. The announcement came after Bezos received public criticism for refusing to sign with Giving Pledge. The organization serves as a platform for the world’s wealthiest people to give a fraction of their earnings to charitable causes.
In an interview, Bezos revealed that when he and his partner began dating roughly three years ago, they already had plans to launch the Bezos Courage and Civility Award. This year, the award went to Dolly Parton, who received $100 million. Parton is the third to receive the honor, following chef Jose Andres and CNN climate advocate Van Jones.
“When you think of Dolly. Look, everyone smiles, right? She is just beaming with light. And all she wants to do is bring light into other people’s worlds. And so we couldn’t have thought of someone better than to give this award to Dolly, and we know she’s going to do amazing things with it,” Sanchez said.
Bezos giving the award to Dolly
Bezos said the Courage and Civility Award serves as a reminder of people who go beyond their ways to serve the public. Parton donated her money to innumerable causes and charities over a decade. For instance, Parton gave $1 million to support vaccine research at the Vanderbilt University Medical Center.
“I felt so proud to have been part of that little seed money that will hopefully grow into something great and help heal this world. I’m a very proud girl today to know I had anything at all to do with something that’s going to help us through this crazy pandemic,” she said at the time.
Moreover, in 1998, she launched the Dollywood Foundation to help children worldwide. Eventually, hhe added The Imagination Library after to aid children in accessing books. She also awarded $15,000 in scholarship grants to college students through the Dolly Parton Scholarship. Through the initiative, Parton reached out to individuals without the means to get a college education. Bezos and Sanchez saw Parton’s passion for helping the community. And so, they decided to give the Courage and Civility Award to the singer.
“Jeff [Bezos] and I are so proud to share that we have a new Bezos Courage and Civility Award winner — a woman who gives with her heart and leads with love and compassion in every aspect of her work,” wrote Sanchez in an Instagram post.
“I try to put my money where my heart is. I will do my best to do good things with this money. Thank you @JeffBezos #LaurenSanchez,” answered Parton in a Tweet.
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Giving away his money
However, Bezos still needs to discuss with Sanchez how to equate the money they will donate to charities.
“The hard part is figuring out how to do it in a levered way. It’s not easy. Building Amazon was not easy. It took a lot of hard work and a bunch of very smart teammates, hard-working teammates. And I’m finding — and I think Lauren is finding the same thing — that charity and philanthropy are very similar. There are a bunch of ways that I think you could do ineffective things, too. So you have to think about it carefully, and you have to have brilliant people on the team,” he said.